“Your vision will become clear when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” — Carl Jung
All spiritual teachers, philosophers and religions assertthat one of the most important aspects of being human is to live “from the heart.” But how many of us are actually putting that into practice on a daily basis?
We may read a passage that tells us what to do; we may think about it and even say to ourselves, “I’m going to work on that.” Sometimes we might even close our eyes and truly sense what it feels like to be in our hearts. But often we are pulled out of this as soon as something that disagrees with us presents itself. How, then, do we remain in that place?
For many of us it takes a lot of work and diligence, as we live in a society that promotes winning at all costs, passing judgment on others, zero tolerance, and playing the victim. What exactly is living from your heart?
Living completely from your head is not living wholly. Resonating with Bob Monroe’s belief that “we are more than our physical bodies,” Drunvalo Melchizedek says in his book Living in the Heart, “You are more than a human being, much more. For within your heart is a place, a sacred place where the world can literally be remade through conscious co-creation.” By connecting the heart and mind, one can bring forth a way of living where thought is directed by the essence of the heart—or rather always coming from a place of love.
It’s easy for us to love those who love us—our partners, children, parents, friends, pets—yet so difficult to extend so much as a loving thought to those we don’t know well, those who are different, or who have harmed us or others. Living from the heart enables us to see all beings as part of our universal family. In the Karaniya Metta Sutta (the Buddha’s “Hymn of Universal Love”) one verse says “Just as a mother would risk her life to protect her child, so should one cultivate a limitless heart of compassion for all beings.”
There are many examples throughout history of people who have embodied these qualities, such as the Dalai Lama, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Amma, and others. Thinking of these great figures might give us inspiration, but how many times have we said or thought, “Well, I just can’t do that. I’m only human. These people were born with a destiny to live this way.” Unfortunately, this is such a common thought process that we don’t stop to realize that these people made a conscious choice to fully live from their heart in each and every moment.
There are many wonderful people who have put together workshops, retreats, books and products that help us to learn to live in this manner. In the world we live in today it’s essential that we move into this place of living from the heart. However, be prepared for an extensive lesson. Once we begin, we realize how long we have not been operating in this mode, and many of us have to work through all of the past hurts and programming that keep us from our hearts—from that very special place of unconditional love. As we begin to open our hearts to ourselves and the people, places and things that have hurt us in the past, we can begin to stay open—not only to ourselves but to all humanity.
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